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31 December 2003

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  • Hong Kong star Anita Mui dies suddenly

    Anita Mui Yim-Fong, an icon of the Hong Kong entertainmentindustry, died yesterday aged 40, from the side effects of cancer.Mui, who had a career that spanned twodecades, reached the top of both the music and film industries and came to beregarded as a national treasure. She drew plaudits from across the industry, tothe top of government.Mui starred in a string of localincluding hits A Better Tomorrow 3,
  • Keil exits Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg

    The German film industry has been rocked by the news thatKlaus Keil is to exit his post as chief executive of the regional public filmfunding body Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg (FBB) on 31 March 2004.Keil, who became the head of FBB when it was created by thefederal states of Berlin and Brandenburg in August 1994, is to become aco-director alongside Oliver Castendyk of the Potsdam-based traininginstitution Erich Pommer Institute.Speaking shortly before Christmas, Keil said that h
  • Love Actually raises international tally to $120m

    Universal's Love Actually added an estimated $10m from 2,300sites in 31 countries through UIP at the weekend to raise its internationalrunning total to $113m.The figure rises to $120m including France, where the filmhas taken $5.5m and is distributed through Studiocanal, and Russia, where ithas taken $1.5m to date.In Australia the romantic comedy opened in second place on$3.6m including previews behind The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King,while in the UK i
  • Messier lands without a parachute

    Former Vivendi Universal chairman Jean-Marie Messier hasgiven up his bid for a $25m severance package from the company, after beingforced by US regulators to relinquish claims to such a golden parachute.Messier had been seeking indemnities he believed owed to himfollowing his resignation in 2002. After a New York court upheld Messier'sclaim, Vivendi continued to counter until a settlement was reached via theSecurities and Exchange Commission which had leveled charges
  • Mona Lisa Smile gives Julia Roberts her biggest bow in Mexico

    Julia Roberts scored her biggest ever debut in Mexico at theweekend as Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) opened MonaLisa Smile on an estimated $1m.In its first international release the romantic comedy wentout on 230 prints and ranked third behind The Lord of The Rings: The ReturnOf The King and Brother Bear.CTFDI will release the film in smaller Asian markets nextweek followed by Europe in the middle of January.
  • Return Of The King still rules them all with 12-day $223.7m total

    New Line's The Lord Of The Rings: The Return OfThe King became the second fastest film of all time to pass $200m over arecord breaking Christmas weekend at the box office, staying top in its secondweek on $51.2m for an estimated $223.7m running total.Peter Jackson's trilogy finale passed $200m on its 11thday (Dec 27) and trails only Spider-Man, which accomplished the featover nine days in May 2002.It dropped 29% and averaged $13,833 from 3,703 theatres.Studi
  • Return Of The King surges towards $500m

    After just a fortnight intheatres, New Line's The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King already ranks as the fifth most successful globalrelease of 2003 after The Matrix Reloaded, Finding Nemo, PiratesOf The Caribbean and its immediate predecessor The Two Towers. It will only be a matter of days before it ranks fourth.Second weekend estimates show The Return Of The Kingraising its international running total to $268.4m from 38 territories,